The Meanies Pic: Kelvin Craig
The Meanies Pic: Kelvin Craig

Aborted Tortoise/Hideous Sun Demon
Rosemount Hotel
Friday, October 3, 2014

Aborted Tortoise are young, skinny and born to rock. Alternating between garage rock and punk, they always impress. The buzz around them at the moment is fully justified. If Molly had better taste he’d suggest you do yourself a favour.

Hideous Sun Demon occupy sonic territory somewhere between Thee Oh Sees and The Cramps, falling on the indie rock side of garage.¬†Aided by an ace light show and briefly hindered by a fragile guitar string, they tore the place up with great enthusiasm. Reminiscent of the psychedelic garage rock/punk (King Gizzard, for example) that’s so (rightfully) popular with the hip kids these days (right down to the high-slung guitar), they actually have a lot of variety. If you like the sound of a loud guitar, they’re a good option, as they are if you like to hear something different. They’re by no means derivative of their influences.

The Meanies are internationally renowned punk-pop royalty on their first visit from Melbourne in several years, kicking off their jubilee tour. Unfortunately word of their legend hasn’t reached the youth of Perth, but enough of those who know their history made it out to the Rosemount to more than half fill the big room. Twenty five years as a band means there’s no shortage of songs to choose from and Plan Nein was first cab off the rank, followed by the classic power pop of Never. Darkside Of My Mind picked up the tempo and Sorry ‘Bout The Violence was the first to display the rawness of their early days, while a nice rendition of Rhyming Logic showed off some classy, polished, melancholy pop. You can’t beat a good song.

Hearing Link’s fine voice on his 45th birthday was the highlight of the night, bringing Inside and Cruelty’s Fun to life, before There’s A Gap, a preview from their next album, due out around June. Guitarist (and former Onyas drummer) Jaws ground out the great Aussie riff of Lyin’, followed by Ten Percent Weird, Round In circles, Our New Planet, Conan, Gangrenous and Ton Of Bricks.

There wasn’t time for all of the gems. Scum and The Reason Why were a couple that didn’t get a guernsey on the night. After alternating all evening between three-minute pop songs and one-minute punk songs, they went all psych-punk on the closer, Keep A Balance.

At 50 minutes it wasn’t a long set, but perhaps long by Meanies’ standards. It’s uncertain when or if they’ll return to Perth, so the upcoming reissues of their early albums on Poison City Records might have to tide us over for a while.